Since I've started to study "Interaktive Digitale Medier" in the Aalborg University time flies. After a short intro period we had a so called U-CrAc (User-Driven Creative Academy) workshop for 3 weeks. Here students from different fields - interactive digital media, user experience design, industrial design and occupational therapy - worked in groups on cases given by real clients - companies and organizations. It is all about innovation: each group got a different case and we had to solve them by using certain methods.
Our group got Castberggaard as a client, which is a center for hearing impaired people. We had to work on a system, which measures the stress level of hearing impaired employees in different working places. Since the case was too wide, we shared it with to other groups. One of them had to work out a device, which measures the stress. Our group made some suggestions about, how to process the measured data. The third group found some ways to deal with the problem in the long run.
Instead of well known methods such as brain storm or sketches, we had to use some recently learned methods. First of all we had do observe a subject of our case. That is why we visited a teacher - with the handicap mentioned above - in his class, and we filmed him. Then we analyzed the films and found out, what made him frustrated and how he dealt with the problems.
The next step was using body storm. This is like brain storm, but instead of words we had to use our own bodies. We had to play the problems and then spontaneously the solutions, too. Maybe it sounds weird, but we really had to feel what the problem was like. We taped these body storms, too, and then we analyzed them to get even more ideas. After that we made three video sketches with possible solutions:
The great thing about video sketching was that we didn't have to worry about the details: if we didn't have a device, we just made one of paper. Or we could easily fake an operating program on the screen by using PowerPoint slides. The point was the demonstrate the idea.
We presented them to our client, the representative of Castbergaard. Though we had some suggestions for preventing the stressful situations, we agreed to work out the sketch, which is a kind of first aid kit when stress is already around. Here is the video about it:
The whole project is published in our subside. It was a great experience to be a part of a group of people from different departments of the university, so we could contribute to our project in a varied way. Our client was impressed about the result, too.